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  Understanding plant stress and senescence to reduce food waste and improve food security

   Cardiff School of Biosciences

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  Dr H Rogers, Dr C Muller  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

*This is project is to be conducted as an MPhil*

Abiotic stress during crop growth results in extensive crop losses and is thus important for food security. Post-harvest damage is also an important problem for producers and consumers affecting food safety and quality and resulting in waste. Understanding the underlying processes in stress and senescence both before and after harvest will help to improve quality and safety of fresh produce. In particular we are interested in how resilience to stress during growth affects responses of the plant material post-harvest. One of our aims is to produce useful markers for better assessment of shelf-life thus reducing waste and improving the nutritional benefits and safety of intake of fruits and vegetables to the consumer. Research focusses on (1) understanding changes in gene expression and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions associated with senescence and post-harvest stress in fresh produce (leafy vegetables and fruits) and flowers. We are also interested in using VOCs as markers for contamination of fruits and vegetables with human pathogens (2) characterising gene signalling pathways and epigenetic changes regulating stress and senescence responses in plants before and after harvest. This involves understanding the networks of transcription factors regulating down-stream stress responsive genes and how they regulate promoter activity. For this work we also use Arabidopsis thaliana, which provides a wealth of resources, to study promoter function and transcriptional control in transgenic plants.

Candidate requirements

A 1st or Upper 2nd class UK honours degree or equivalent. Please visit School of Biosciences Postgraduate Research for more details.

For those whose first language is not English, IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

How to Apply 

To submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service, click the 'Institution Website' button on this advert; in the ‘Apply’ box at the top-right of the page, select Qualification (Master of Philosophy), Mode of Study (Full Time) and Start Date (this can be flexible as it is a self-funded project). This will take you to the application portal.

Candidates must submit the following:

 • Supporting statement

 • CV

 • Qualification certificates

 • Proof of English language (if applicable) 

In the research proposal section of the application, specify the project title and supervisors of the project. In the funding section, specify that you will be self-funding. If you are applying for more than one Cardiff University project with the same entry intake, please note this in the research proposal section as the form only allows you to enter one title.

Agriculture (1) Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, so students will need to source their own (tuition, bench fees if applicable, living fees if applicable).

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